Tom Flynn

Center for Inquiry — Amherst, NY

Tom Flynn is Executive Director of The Council for Secular Humanism, Editor of Free Inquiry magazine, and Director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum.

A journalist, novelist, entertainer, and freethought historian, Flynn is the author of numerous articles and editorials for Free Inquiry magazine. He edited a massive reference work, The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, in 2007. His other books include two anti-religious black comedy science fiction novels, Nothing Sacred (2004), its prequel Galactic Rapture (2000), and The Trouble With Christmas (1993), a secularist critique of the holiday. He has made hundreds of radio and TV appearances in his role as the curmudgeonly "anti-Claus." His novel Galactic Rapture was reissued as a trilogy by See Sharp Press under the series title The Messiah Game. He designed the museum at the birthplace of 19th century agnostic orator Robert Green Ingersoll and co-conceived a related regional history project, the Freethought Trail, that now includes almost 70 marked and unmarked sites significant to the history of freethought, abolitionism, and women's rights within 100 miles of the Ingersoll museum. He has written extensively on the "rise of the nones" and the growing, welcome focus of the social scientists on studying nonreligious Americans as a category in their own right, not just as those who check "other" on surveys about religion.

Flynn's credits as a media producer include American Freethought, a four-part video miniseries about the history of the freethought movement, and HDTV documentaries about Robert Ingersoll and freethought publisher D. M. Bennett.

Some more specific topics Tom has expertise in are:

  • History of Atheism, Freethought, and Humanism
  • Demographic measurement of Unbelief 
  • Robert Green Ingersoll

To book Tom as a speaker, contact the CFI Outreach Department via email.

Watch part one of Tom's talk about the New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, a book which he edited; it was published by Prometheus Books in 2007:

Topic(s): Atheism & Secularism, History, Humanism

Sub-topic(s): History of atheism/secularism, Ethics & morality, Separation of church and state